Gulls at Solihull tonight
- Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK
The 'Curse of the Hamstring' has struck Torquay United yet again, with defender Kyle Cameron the latest player to be hit with the same injury as the Gulls try to end a lean spell and preserve their decreasing National League lead at Solihull Moors on Tuesday night (7pm).
Centre-back Cameron was helped off after only 13 minutes of United's 3-2 home defeat by FC Halifax Town at the weekend, and he follows Danny Wright, Armani Little and Aaron Nemane with similar problems.
Ben Wynter has only just returned from a hamstring tear of his own, and manager Gary Johnson says: "You've only got to look around the football world and you'll hear the same story.
"Even in the Football League, people are talking about these injuries and how everyone is just playing too many games to try and get them all done in a shortened season.
"It's killing most clubs, as regards the number of injuries, and many a time sides at our level haven't got enough players for the bench.
"We're trying to give our lads as much down-time in training, but it's a tight call - too much doesn't work and neither does too little."
Goalkeeper Lucas Covolan did resume training this week after his ankle injury, although he's still a week or two away from match fitness, but United will still go to Damson Park without senior players Wright, Cameron, Little, Moxey, Nemane, Gary Warren, Fraser Kerr, Andrew Nelson and Liam Davis.
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Moxey (hip) and Little are not long-term casualties, but United are being careful not to push them back too quickly and risk losing them for what's already a packed schedule over the next three and a half months.
A run of one win in seven league games has seen a lead which once stood at 13 points whittled down to four, mainly by Sutton United, who have also cut deep into United's goal-difference lead.
Sutton are one of the few teams who have managed to avoid their rivals' injury problems, one of which is also Solihull.
They are currently without ex-Gulls forward Jamie Ward, Callum Howe, James Ball, Jamie Osborne and Aston Villa loanee striker Cameron Archer.
Jimmy Shan's side still believe, with so many games in hand, that they can turn their current 14th place into a promotion bid.
They are especially strong at home - Bromley are the only team to take points off them there - but they could not force a win at lowly Weymouth (0-0) on Saturday.
United have run into a real sticky patch, with Johnson especially concerned about how vulnerable they looked from 2-1 up in the closing stages against Halifax.
"We have got to close up a bit and make sure we are much harder to play against," he says.
Although Covolan is on the way back, United have extended the loan of Truro City goalkeeper James Hamon for another month.
And on-loan midfielder Adam Randell has also signed a new contract with Plymouth Argyle which will run to the summer of 2022.